English Rugby's search for why their World Cup was such a disaster appears to be suggesting that Stuart Lancaster is not the answer as head coach. Initially there were reports that Joe Schmidt would be approached to replaced the still in charge Lancaster, but now there are hints that another former Leinster head coach is the primary target.
Australia head coach Michael Cheika managed to turn Australia into a team in the middle of huge turmoil and controversy into a highly attractive unit that blitzed all before them reaching the World Cup final. Cheika deservedly won coach of the year, and it's not unreasonable for him to be in demand.
According to the Australian, RFU president Jason Leonard has approached Cheika about his interest in taking over from Lancaster. The Australian has signed a deal with the ARU until 2017, and there are no signs that he would want to leave just a year into his tenure.
Cheika did remain coy on his future with the Wallabies when he returned to Australia following the World Cup last week:
I’m in to 2017 and for me it’s irrelevant whether I’m on to 19 or 17 or 16, I want to do the best so the team is in the right position to keep getting better in the future.
Lancaster is signed with the RFU until 2019, but that doesn't mean that they aren't willing to move on from the coach that has given them back some respectability after the ill-discipline that was prevalent during Martin Johnson's tenure.
The ARU is keen to extend Cheika's contract beyond 2019, and they want to seal his future before the former Leinster coach travels back to London later this month to coach the Barbarians.
First Schmidt, and now Chieka - it's unconfirmed but Matt O'Connor, Declan Kidney, and Gary Ella will be the next former Leinster coaches to be linked with the RFU job.
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